West Coast Swing Utrecht


About West Coast Swing

West Coast Swing (WCS) is a partner dance with roots in the Lindy Hop. The dance was cultivated in California where it has become the main regional style of swing in that area, so much so, that it was made the official state dance in 1988.

We believe West Coast Swing (WCS) is the most fun partner dance in existence because:

  • Both partners in the dance have freedom of improvisation and creativity to express themselves, more than in any other partner dance.
  • You can dance WCS to almost any style of music (e.g. blues, hip-hop, R&B, ballad, disco, rock’n roll, latin).
  • It doesn’t matter your flexibility, age, size or shape………you just need passion and enthusiasm.
  • It’s a social dance, but for every level (from absolute beginners to professionals) there’s also competition and showdance.

What does it look like ?


What shoes should I wear?

West Coast Swing is a very natural, ergonomic dance. It really is close to stylized walking. Which means that the heel height you would wear in your street shoes on a daily (as in, all day long) basis is most ideal.

Any clean footwear that lets you spin comfortably is fine (dance shoes, dance sneakers, Toms, even socks):

  • Flat soles or medium (thick) heel (max 1,5")
  • Leather soles (avoid rubber soles, it wil ruin your knees with turns and spins

Some examples of sandels, dancesneakers, jazzshoes:

If you’re serious about West Coast Swing we recommend investing in a pair of dance shoes. Our instructors can advise you or you can read this article about WCS Footwear trends

Most West Coast Swing dancers wear “Westie sandals”, flat suède boots, low ballroom shoes or “Toms".

What should I wear?

Wear anything that is comfortable. Jeans and t-shirts are fine.  What you wear should not restrict your arm or leg movements.
If you’re prone to sweating (hey, it happens) feel free to bring an extra shirt (and deodorant, ahem).

Do I need a (dance)partner?

Coming out swing dancing is a great way to meet new people.  You do not need a partner to take dance classes or to go to one of our socials (but, it is very helpfull if you bring one…or two …). Both couples and singles are welcome. We rotate partners in our group classes. At the dances you can dance with anybody in the room. That is part of the fun!

Do I HAVE to rotate partners?

No. However it’s a very good idea to rotate partners even if you have one. The short reason is that you don’t want to get used to each other’s bad habits. Social dancing is very much about adjusting to each person you dance with. 

By switching dance partners, you get to deal with all kinds of different types of dancers, who all have their own way of moving and dancing. And therefore also have their own way of leading and following. West Coast Swing is a social dance and you will find that it is common to dance with different partners. Social dance is about being able to adapt to each person you dance with.

Lead or Follow?

West Coast Swing is non-gender biased.  Dance whatever role(s) you like.

Expect to see women leading women and men leading men all the time at social dance parties and during competition. Because like a team sport, it’s more about the teamwork than about the relationship. 

As part of learning faster we recommend to try both roles at some point.

Ways to learn West Coast Swing